A rock album almost always gets into the top category and this year was Foo Fighters' turn. They were previously cited in this category for "Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace" (2008). If they won, it would be the first victory by a rock album since U2's "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" triumphed in 2006.
Like Adele, Bruno Mars is also contending in Song of the Year and Record of the Year. His "Grenade" hit #1 on the Hot 100. He also had successful singles in the album's "The Lazy Song" and last year's Grammy-winning "Just the Way You Are." He is an outside shot to win, however.
Rihanna had three #1 hits from "Loud." First there was "What's My Name?" featuring Drake, then Grammy-winning dance hit "Only Girl (In the World)," and finally "S&M" with Britney Spears. Considering she's one of the most successful singles artists of all time, it was only a matter of time before the Grammys noted one of her albums. Make no mistake though; she is only along for the ride this year.
Lady Gaga gets her third consecutive nomination for "Born This Way." Last year she was up for "The Fame Monster" and the year before that she had "The Fame." It took The Beatles three nominations in a row to finally win Album of the Year. Frank Sinatra is the only other act to get three nods in a row -- a feat he accomplshed twice. Each time, he got back-to-back victories. Gaga can either win this year or set a record.
Adele's "21" is the clear frontrunner this year. With #1 singles in "Rolling in the Deep" -- which contends for Record of the Year and Song of the Year -- and Pop Vocal Performance nominee "Someone Like You," Adele was obviously a force to be reckoned with in 2011. She already has Grammys for Best New Artist and for Female Pop Vocal Performance ("Chasing Pavements"). Also working in her favor, "21" is far and away the best-selling album of the year.